China confident in launch of Tiangong-1

Updated: 2011-09-28 19:30

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JIUQUAN, Gansu - China is confident in the upcoming launch of its first space lab module Tiangong-1, although space launches are highly risky, said Wu Ping, spokeswoman for China's manned space program, at a press conference Wednesday.

Despite August's failed satellite launch, China remains full of confidence and anticipation, Wu said.

She said among the more than 1,600 space launches around the world since 1990, 93.7 percent were successful, while China has successfully conducted 94.4 percent of its nearly 130 space launches.

Tiangong-1 is scheduled to be launched between 9:16 pm and 9:31 pm Thursday, she said. It will orbit for two years, and during the mission, it will dock with China's Shenzhou-8, -9 and -10 spacecrafts.

The rendezvous and docking is widely accepted as a technical difficulty, and China's first experiment faces challenges, she said.

The program has made more than 200 preparation plans for each of Tiangong-1 and Shenzhou 8 spacecraft, she said.

It also rescheduled the launch of the Tiangong-1 and made improvements to the carrier rocket Long-March 2-F due to the failed launch of an experimental orbiter on August 18, she said. The carrier rocket Long-March 2-F, which will be used for the upcoming launch, belongs to the same series as the malfunctioning one, she added.